Longing for antiquities / Welsh lady looking at a dresser by Lowri Davies

This ceramic piece is part of a series of Welsh ladies, namely the Stereotype collection by Lowri Davies. This collection was purchased as part of a wider collection through the generosity of the Contemporary Art Society for Wales. It was part of the visual art exhibition at the National Eisteddfod of Wales held in the Faenol, 2005.

The other ceramics featuring Welsh ladies in different surroundings include Teatime, Welsh lady playing harp, Ladies singing in a choir, Welsh lady looking at the bardic robes and Welsh lady in the kitchen.

The remainder of the ceramics purchased at the same time, the souvenirs were part of the exhibition “Eryri”. The artist from Porthmadog, Elfyn Lewis, was commissioned to organise this exhibition to consider the concept of ‘habitat’ – ranging from artists’ treatment of the Snowdonia landscape to the visual expression of residents of the quarry areas to their environment. Lowri Davies contributed to the exhibition by creating a collection of work based on the keepsakes that are on sale in the souvenir shops of Eryri.

Lowri Davies was born in Pontypridd and brought up at Aberystwyth. She graduated from the Cardiff Arts School in 2001 and in the same year was awarded the National Eisteddfod Young Artist Scholarship. She now works from the Fireworks Studio at Glanyrafon, Cardiff.

When Lowri was 16 years of age, her grandmother died. She was inspired by a wide-ranging collection left by her grandmother that included domestic ceramics objects, mementos, patchworks and family photographs. These inspired Lowri’s ceramic compositions. In general, her work deals with self-identity and Welshness such as ladies dressed in traditional Welsh costume, the harp, the Daffodil, adding more contemporary elements such as a reference to the ‘Super Furry Animals’.

By using hand built techniques and slip casting, Lowri creates objects such as jugs which are decorated with her personal pictures of flowers, domestic objects and Welsh images. The work stems from references to china work displayed on a Welsh dresser and ceramic souvenirs.

These pieces contribute to the themes of identity and Welsh traditions that feature strongly in Storiel’s collections.